UT System Board of Regents

Bob Daemmrich / Marjorie Kamys Cotera

University of Texas System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa has asked University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers to resign ahead of the Board of Regents’ July 10 meeting or be fired at it, multiple sources confirmed to The Texas Tribune on Friday. The sources said Powers informed Cigarroa in writing that he will not resign, but is willing to discuss a timeline for his exit. 

UT-Austin officials said they could not comment on any private conversations between Cigarroa and Powers. Neither Powers nor Cigarroa could immediately be reached for comment. 

Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall, who was asked to resign last week by the chairman of the board of regents, sent a letter to the chairman on Monday saying he does not intend to do any such thing, according to Hall's lawyer.

At Thursday's board meeting, chairman Paul Foster said that Hall could take "a selfless step to benefit the UT System" by stepping down from his post. According to a system spokeswoman, as of Monday afternoon, Foster had not yet received Hall's letter responding to his comments.

Last week, a legislative committee had agreed that grounds exist to impeach Hall, who has been scrutinized for conducting personal investigations of the operations of the University of Texas at Austin that some have characterized as an abuse of his office.

Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall is now the subject of a criminal investigation.

The Public Integrity Unit of the Travis County District Attorney’s Office has opened an investigation into Hall after receiving a complaint from a legislative committee considering impeachment proceedings against the regent.

Hall is accused of improper handling of student records as part of extensive open records requests of UT-Austin documents. Critics have accused Hall of conducting a "witch hunt" on behalf of Gov. Rick Perry to oust UT-Austin President Bill Powers.

Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

There could be grounds to impeach University of Texas Regent Wallace Hall on at least on at least four different counts, according to a report by the special counsel to the legislative committee that has been investigating the controversial gubernatorial appointee.

The report, which was obtained by the Tribune on Monday night on the condition that it not be published in its entirety, is the handiwork of a team led by Houston attorney Rusty Hardin, which reviewed more than 150,000 pages of documents and sat through dozens of hours of interviews and testimony before the House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations during the second half of 2013.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera, Texas Tribune

After five years, Francisco Cigarroa announced Monday morning that he is stepping down as University of Texas System Chancellor. 

Cigarroa says he's leaving to head the pediatric transplant surgery department at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.

"It really ended up being a very personal decision as to what is my next role in life?" Cigarroa said at a press conference Monday morning. "What’s the next mountain I want to climb?"

photo by: Bob Daemmrich

Francisco Cigarroa, the chancellor of the University of Texas System, will announce Monday that plans to step down to become the head of the pediatric surgery unit at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, three sources tell The Texas Tribune.

Cigarroa's intention to resign his post was first reported late Sunday by the Austin American-Statesman. A Sunday release by the system said Cigarroa and Paul Foster, the chairman of the Board of Regents, will appear together at a Monday morning news conference at which the chancellor will make a "special announcement."

Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

After reviewing University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall's handling of information that may be confidential under federal student privacy laws, outside lawyers for the system have concluded that there was "no credible evidence of a violation of [the state government code] that would warrant a referral for criminal prosecution."


The UT Board of Regents is expected to discuss the employment of University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers during its executive session today. It’s the first time his employment has been placed on the agenda for discussion – and the latest development in what’s become a power struggle among state leadership.

The scene: boardrooms, committee chambers or behind closed doors. The characters: men who hold power in the Texas capitol, or the UT Tower. But how did the situation get to this point?

Nathan Bernier, KUT News

The University of Texas System Board of Regents plans to discuss the employment of University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers during a closed-door executive session at its board meeting on Thursday.

Powers' job at the flagship university, which he has held for nearly eight years, has been believed by some to be in jeopardy since the appointment of new board members in 2011. Multiple board meetings have been preceded by rumors of his impending ousting, but the speculation has consistently proven incorrect.

KUT News

A legislative committee investigating University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall will not consider recent allegations claiming Hall abused his powers by talking to a sports agent about replacing UT football coach Mack Brown.

Reports surfaced last week that Hall spoke to an agent for Nick Saban, the football coach for the top-ranked University of Alabama, in January. Former UT Regent Tom Hicks was also on the call. Hicks then asked Brown if he wanted to retire, but Brown said he did not.

Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

As the University of Texas System Board of Regents convenes for its annual August meeting Wednesday and Thursday, a gathering fraught with tension and anxiety is all but assured.

The nine regents have been bathed in controversy for more than two years, and — despite racking up a number of accomplishments, including the creation of a major new university in South Texas — have only managed to sink deeper over time.


Update: The Texas House Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations met Monday to discuss an investigation that could lead to impeachment proceedings against a University of Texas System Regent.

The committee is tasked with deciding which articles for impeachment it could possibly bring against Wallace Hall. But at a committee hearing, lawmakers found there's little historic precedent to guide the process. According to Jeff Archer with the Texas Legislative Counsel, there have been few attempts to impeach a public official in Texas and there’s no definition or standard for what’s considered an impeachable offense. 

Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

Update (June 21, 3:26 p.m.): State Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, said Friday afternoon that his effort to unseat University of Texas Regent Wallace Hall is still very much alive in the last days of the session, and said he is confident he has the necessary support in the House. Aides to Gov. Rick Perry have been lobbying members to leave Hall in office, but Pitts said he's got the numbers right now.

Original story: The House's chief budget writer and a longstanding critic of the University of Texas System regents is attempting to launch impeachment proceedings against University of Texas Regent Wallace Hall.

University of Texas

Update: The full University of Texas System Board of Regents has voted to move forward with a plan for the future of its flagship campus – including the medical school. The plan passed without discussion. 

Update (May 8, 11:51 a.m.): A committee of the UT System Board of Regents approved an update to the university's master plan, including plans for UT's medical school, new teaching buildings and more. The plan could eventually move the Frank Erwin Center.

Daniel Reese for KUT News

A bill codifying and clarifying the roles and responsibilities of Texas' higher education governing boards, regents, systems and institutions has reached the Texas House of Representatives after passing the Senate.

House Rep. Don Branch, R-Dallas, gave his take on SB 15 to the Higher Education Committee.

Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

Update: The UT Board of Regents' decision to release public documents to the Texas legislature didn't stop the state Senate from passing a bill that would limit the board's authority and require new regents to complete an ethics training course. The Senate passed the bill today. It now heads to the House for a vote.

Original Story (1:45 p.m.): The UT System Board of Regents voted Thursday to release all records requested by state lawmakers and ask the state Attorney General to conduct an investigation into the relationship between the UT Law School and the Law School Foundation

Last week, regents had considered withholding documents from the legislature. Regent James Dannenbaum says that was a miscommunication.

Daniel Reese for KUT News

Update: UT's Board of Regents is scheduled to meet this morning to consider whether to release investigative records to the Texas Legislature.

Texas lawmakers have been requesting the release of emails and other documents in a public standoff raising tension between the Capitol and the regents. 

Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

State Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, filed a bill on Monday to clarify the open records obligations of state agencies, including — some would say specifically — the University of Texas System.

Liang Shi, KUT News

A bill making progress at the Texas Capitol would limit college governing boards like the University of Texas Board of Regents, whose members have been criticized for “micromanaging” UT in Austin and President Bill Powers.

The bill approved today by the Senate Committee on Higher Education assigns to universities themselves all duties not specifically assigned to regents.

Nicolas Raymond / Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

Is this about Bill Powers or UT’s tower?

Tensions between Gov. Rick Perry’s administration and Powers, the president of the University of Texas at Austin, are rising, sucking up legislative time and pitting lawmakers, prominent alumni and higher-education critics against one another in a running argument over politics, rivalries and what a public university is supposed to be.